I was asked this week why I chose to become an Army Chaplain and after some thought, here's what I cam up with...
I was adopted by the late Russell and Bonnie Donley of Pleasant City, Ohio. Both my father and his brother-in-law, my uncle, served in the Army during the Korean War. I grew up hearing stories and accounts of their time in service as a Soldier in the United States Army. As a young child, I would play “Army” with neighborhood friends and I believed in my heart that someday I too would be a Soldier as my father and uncle were before me. However, during my High School years, I was lead to Christ by a peer and during my senior year in school I felt the burden and the call from God to serve Him as a minister and evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Upon graduation I attended a Christian College where I trained to be an evangelist and minister in the Churches of Christ. I grew greatly in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ during my years in college. I then spent the next ten years doing the work of the evangelist and preaching in the Churches of Christ. Although it was obvious that God’s Hand was upon me and my ministry; I felt there was a void in my ministry.
After 9/11 transpired, I felt the patriotic call to serve my country and my childhood desire and dream of serving in the Army was revived in my heart. When I learned of the Army Chaplain Corps, I knew right away that this was the missing element in my ministry. I could now have the astonishing ability and opportunity to fulfill my calling to the Lord while in turn fulfilling my desire to serve my country as a Soldier in the United States Army.
There are some who feel called to serve their God and there are others who feel called to serve their Country. Then there are the few who feel the call to serve both God and Country…we call them “Chaplains!” I became an Army Chaplain because I genuinely feel the call of God in my life to serve Him and He has placed within my heart the desire to serve the men and women of the United States Army. My God has blessed me with the talents, abilities, gifts, training, education and experience to devotedly serve as a Chaplain. I became an Army Chaplain to bring God to Soldiers and to bring Soldiers to God. I became an Army Chaplain because I cannot see myself doing anything else. I know beyond a doubt that God has blessed my ministry as an Army Chaplain and that He will continue to bless and to equip, train and qualify me to be His Man in the United States Army Chaplain Corps.
PRO DEO ET PATRIA
“For God and Country.”